I read a great book a couple of years ago called the Lilypad List: Seven Steps to the Simple Life: Seven Steps to Simplicity.
There was one thing in that book that really resonated with me. Leading a simple life is not about wearing a hair shirt. The example she gave was her ipod. At the touch of a button she had immediate access to thousands of records, audiobooks and podcasts on a device that would slip in her bag or pocket - simple.
I like to invest or spend as Dalesman calls it in things that make live simpler - I'm typing on a MacBook cos for me that's easy (I did have to save up for a few years though), I have a set of Knit Picks Options for my knitting and a Moleskine notebook for notes - these are things that make me happy and I justify them on the basis that they make my life easier - until yesterday an uproved theory.
In August I cast on for a baby blanket - a cute blanket which has cables and different stitch patterns. There's no memorable pattern repeat and the pattern is written up in a really confuddling way that involes the continual turning of pages. Each of the first 7 rows was ripped out at least once and eventually it was thrown in a corner to hibernate.
Yesterday the Nutty Knitters end of year KAL challenge was thrown down - to finish UFOs/WIPs. I recklessly put the baby blanket into the challenge and picked it up, found my place on the pattern (miracles do happen) and started knitting. After an hour my hands hurt, I'd ripped back each of the rows at least once and I had opened the red wine.
I know I think I'll use my beautiful esty stitch markers that were a gift from Tina to mark each pattern. Duh that's better I can see immediately that I'm at the right point much easier but my hand still hurts and it's getting heavy on the needles. I know I'll use my Knit Picks Options rather than the wooden needles. Duh that's better - easier to hold, easier to move the yarn. So now it's simply easier.